NBA Pick: Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors ‘under’ 190½

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 25, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

One overlooked aspect of the hot streak that has seen the Raptors win six of their last seven games has been their improved defense, and Washington also has an underrated defense.

Look for a relatively low scoring game in a contest featuring two potentially underrated defenses Monday night when the Washington Wizards (17-37, 4-22 away) pay a visit to the Toronto Raptors (23-33, 15-14 home) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 190½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The Raptors have suddenly caught fire as they have now won six of their last seven games following a 100-98 win here at home over the New York Knicks on Friday. Toronto’s only loss in those last seven contests came to a Memphis Grizzlies team out of the stronger Western Conference that is playing some of the best defense in the league.

Much of the credit for the Toronto turnaround that now has the Raptors four games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference has been attributed to Rudy Gay, and deservedly so as he is averaging 21.4 points in 10 games in a Toronto uniform since being acquired in a trade from Memphis. But what has been largely ignored during the Raptors’ hot streak has been the improvement of their defense.

You see, the Raptors have allowed 100 points only twice in the last 10 games, and the two teams to do it against them were a Denver Nuggets team that ranks third in the NBA in scoring and a Miami Heat team that ranks fifth. They are facing no such powerhouse here as Washington remains dead last in scoring at 92.0 points per game. Also, the Raptors are allowing a scant 92.9 points per game in their 10 February games thus far.

Those games include a meeting with these Wizards in Washington last Tuesday that went safely ‘under’ while producing 184 points in a 96-88 Toronto road win. Neither team shot the ball particularly well in that contest, as the Raptors shot 44.9 percent from the field and the Wizards shot a horrid 38.5 percent, and we expect a similar amount of points in this game.

That is because the Wizards have had one of the more underrated defenses in the NBA all season, even while beginning the year at 4-28 before John Wall made his seasonal debut. Believe it or not, Washington is ranked sixth in the NBA in points allowed at 95.7 per game, fourth in field goal percentage against at 43.7 percent and sixth in three-point defense at 34.3 percent. Furthermore, the ‘under’ is a spectacular 20-6 in all Wizards’ road games!

In fact the ‘under’ is on an amazing 12-1 run in Washington road games and the only ‘over’ in this current span came the only time in the 13 games that the Wizards allowed 100 points at Denver. Washington is allowing just 93.7 points per game in those 13 contests.

Do not expect the game to get out of the 180s, so go ‘under’ north of the border on Monday.

[gameodds]5/219461/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Wizards, Raptors ‘under’ 190½ (-105)

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